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Tripel Karmeliet | Brouwerij Bosteels

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1,302 Reviews
Tripel KarmelietTripel Karmeliet

Brewed by:
Brouwerij Bosteels

Style: Tripel

Alcohol by volume (ABV): 8.40%

Availability: Year-round

Notes / Commercial Description:
3 grains - barley, wheat, oat. Styrian hops.

Added by kbub6f on 04-27-2001

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Reviews: 1,302 | Ratings: 4,003
Photo of ENogueira
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

11.2 oz bottle poured in a chalice glass. Yellow, with a modest head of foam. Amazing citrus and fruit notes. Reminds me of a fine Hefeweizen. Banana, orange, and wheat. Smells like a floral bouquet. It's hard to believe this has 8.4% ABV. It's as smooth as a soft drink. The perfect balance of bitterness and sweetness. I'm going to run, not walk, to my local beer distributor to buy more.

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Photo of godtopus
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%

Reviewed from some old notes and memory.

Appearance: Lightly golden and hazy. Moderate white, fluffy head that dissapears rather quickly and leaves a bit of lacing.

Smell: Fruity esters of apples and pears, some spice.

Taste: Pear skin, apple, some peppery spice and a slight hint of warming alcohol.

Mouthfeel: Light bodied and easy drinking for the abv, small bubbles and prickly carbonation.

Overall: I never thought I'd find a tripel that appealed to me but this is top-tier. It lacks the alcohol heat that ruins many other tripels for me. Drinks great on a summer evening.

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Photo of francisweizen
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

I have had this quite a few times now, but have never entered a review for it. This review is from notes of several tastings. I have only had this beer in 12oz bottles, so this review is of that format. Appearance is right on. Dark golden with a huge head of white billowy foam that lasts and leaves nice lacing as well. The aromas are all white pepper, yeasty spices and some nice fruitiness. Alcohol is muted and basically not noticeable at all. Taste is fruity with some citrus notes and some sweet candy sugar notes as well. Middle is doughy and bready and the finish is peppery and hot, but not boozy in the least. Mouthfeel is medium bodied, not too thick at all and the drinkability remains good as well. Reviewing this after Westmalle makes me realize how good ofa Triple this is. In the top 5, and possibly even the top 3 for the style.

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Photo of pkalix
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

first pour from the 750 was clear bright yellow but the finishing pour was hazy and cloudy. huge, medium-sized-bubbled head dissipating to nothing.
smells citrus-y and light-fruity.
tastes citrus-y and light-fruity.
i like the carbonation.
overall, this is a different kind of brew for me. kind of hoppy-tasting, akmost, but without the piney flavor, i guess this is what an OAT< WHEAT< BARLEY from belgium tastes like. my apologies, i had a very time-consuming review erased into the nether regions of cyberspace and this is no reflection of the time or quality of that production. but what i would like to state here is that there is a very nice, relatively new, Belgium pub in Garden Grove, California called THE GLOBE which has this, and about 25 other beautiful Belgian brews, on tap. i have no interest in the business except for converting my hard-earned wages into beautiful belgian suds but i'd like to make more people in the area aware of this site.

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Photo of rbd13
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Pours a hazy straw color with visible carbonation. Huge head that leaves a light lacing on the glass.
Smells of wet hay, lemons, butterscotch, white pepper and caramel.
Flavors of lemon wheat, citrus, clove, apple and pear, cinnimon sweetness and a light sourness.
Light/medium body with a smooth feel, extremely drinkable!

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Photo of calinative68
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

My brother in law bought me a 750ml bottle of this magnificent brew.
So on a home brewing night, I decided to get cozy with the whole bottle!

Poured with a very big head all night long.

Smell is the same: orange, lemon Nice and delicate with good balance.

Good mouth feel and drinkability. Goes down easy when it's very cold, but you need to let it warm up a bit to enjoy all this beer has to offer.

I have found a home brew recipe, and I hope to try to brew this in the spring time.


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Photo of wl0307
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Purchased at the Sainsbury's supermarket during its sale on Belgian bottled beers~~ BB 10/1/08, served lightly chilled in a tulip-shaped wine glass.

A: nice orangey-golden colour, coming with a medium-thick white frothy beer head with very good retention; the carbonation condition is just about right for a Belgian bottle-conditioned beer: gentle and constant, never overly fizzy.
S: harmoniously perfumy and fruity... the tropical fruit estery note comes colourful but light-bodied, on top of a constant stream of juicy (cake-ish) malts and grains with but a touch of candy-sugar; lots of fruit elements to discern (for fun): pineapple, green apple peel, banana, apricot, ripe fig, orange/tangerine peel, lemon blossom, Chinese green bean paste...all mixed together, while the lightly spicy yeastiness follows at each step, but plays the second fiddle to the main fruity theme. Everything is so softly threaded together by the perfumy string--just brilliant!!!!
T: creamy maltiness backed by smoothly fruity yeasty backbone lubricates the tip of the tongue, gradually more tartly-sweet fruity elements (mainly lemon-cake, pineapple and sugar-cane juice) expand on the palate, and bringing on board an exotic, Chinese green-bean paste like yeasty+malty+fruit-estery flavour which doesn't go large but lingers quietly and subtly at the back end of the tongue. A slightly herbal-sweet (slightly licorice?) but also dryish aftertaste of hops(?) and yeasts round off the palate in the very finish.
M&D: given the ideal condition of carbonation, the beer's creamy and soft texture is one of the most enjoyable for this style... The medium body and complex flavour against an almost non-existent alcoholic backbone makes this beer utterly easy to drink... If given a richer flavour profile this just might be an all-time winner, IMO!

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Photo of Luigi
4.5/5  rDev +6.1%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Poured out a hazy yellow/orange color. Three finger white head at first pour... settles down a bit with a great retention and lacing around the glass.

The aroma was fruity, with clean lemon zest and bread from the malt. A bit of sweetness from the alcohol, but the aroma is not overwhelming.

The taste is crisp and tart. Lemon peel, some orange, balanced out with bread note from the malt and the yeast. There is a small amount of alcohol to be noticed. But, for the ABV the brewery did a great job of hiding it.

Light crisp body that finishes tart at first then nice and clean.

This tripel... I would love to keep around... but I have not found it out side a bar yet... Loved it!

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Photo of schmidtmattsays
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

On tap at Elgin Public House. Poured into branded Tripel Karmeliet tulip glassware with a massive head and bright golden hue. This was my first tripel style beer. Smells of honey, orange, spicy, fruity mango deliciousness. Sweet taste and the balance of the beer makes this a very sneaky 8.4% ABV. Clean and smooth mouthfeel but I might be biased as I don't like a lot of carbonation in my beers. Finishes dry and amplified alcohol taste towards the bottom. Overall I loved it and can't wait to try more tripel style ales - have my eye on the Allagash Curieux next.

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Photo of GClarkage
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 5

11/05/04- Had on tap at the Toronado in San Francisco, CA

Appearance- Pours into a tulip glass with a huge white frothy head. Leaves magnificent lacing all over the sides of the glass. Pours a yellowish/amber hued color.

Smell- Doesn't have a lot of smell. A bit of sweetness, maybe lemon. Maybe some spicyness.

Taste- Mmmmm, sweet and fruity. Some nice sweet malty characteristics. Definite fruit tastes. Maybe canned fruit tastes as it is sweet. Lemons, apricots?

Mouthfeel- Nice feel as it slides down your throat. Near perfect carbonation. Very subtle brew.

Drinkability- Can't tell it's got an 8% abv. Hasn't hit me yet and I had two of them. Very tasty and possibly even better in the bottle.

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Photo of lacqueredmouse
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.75 | overall: 4.5

It has been many years since I first reviewed this beer, and much as it stands as one of my fondest beer memories, times change, palates change, and I feel now that the scores I originally gave it (close to a perfect 5) will now be tempered by experience and maturity. This was a 330ml bottle purchased from Steve's Cool Booze in Kingsford, probably a similar type of location to where I tried my first bottle.

Pours a hazed pale golden colour with the trademark expressive and voluminous head of white bubbles that eventually settle out to a half-centimetre of foam across the top. Some streaks of lace as it goes, but not a lot. Body is very fluid and light and holds rather large-bubbled carbonation.

Nose is fresh and bright, but caressed with those Belgian yeast esters that round it out and provide some sweetness and a little earthiness. Some smooth vanilla tones, a little bit of blunted citrus, clove and a slight peppery note. It's still exceptionally fragrant and extremely complex. Lovely stuff.

Taste is also extremely good. Big smooth body allows a creaminess to permeate throughout the palate, while bright, slightly peppery tones provide colour and sparkle. Despite this, it never in the slightest feels astringent, spicy or hot with booze, and there's a restraint permeating everything: it makes it superbly drinkable despite the complexities and the alcohol. On the back there's just a suggestion of acidity to clean out the palate and provide a satisfying conclusion.

Feel is wonderful. Smooth but light, seemingly full and crisp at the same time. What sort of alchemy is this?

Overall: wow. I actually expected my scores to go down a whole lot from my first review, and they haven't really dropped significantly at all. I'll admit it has been some time since I last drank a Karmeliet, and so maybe I'd just forgotten what a truly wonderful beer this is. Truly, truly excellent.

Old review from 2005-02-19:

Cloudy deep orange amber body with a massive head that billows up no matter how carefully you pour it. It's creamy and beautiful.

Just wonderful nose. Penetrating sweet oranges, what malt, that gorgeous Belgian yeast which seems to stand out all the more in tripels.
Rich and beautiful.

The taste is just divine. Sweetness or syrup perfectly balanced with a lemony sourness and hops bitterness. It stays around for ages, exploring your whole mouth with its plethora of subtle flavours. It's almost impossible to put into words. You can only experience this beer, you can't describe it. This is truly, truly wonderful.

Overall, this is a brilliant beer. One of the best I've ever tasted.

Unbelievably good.

A: 5, S: 5, T: 5, MF: 5, D: 4.5

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Photo of MECove
4.51/5  rDev +6.4%
look: 3.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 3.5 | overall: 4.75

Smells like flowers! Not a thick or syrupy texture. "3 grain beer still brewed after a 17th (1679) century recipe from the old Carmelite monastery of Dendermonde. Blond, robust, smooth and fruity 3 grain ale, with final fermentation in the bottle. Brewed with pride and patience after carmelite tradition with wheat, oats, and barley."

100% natural.

Transports me to medieval celebrations with spiritual foundations.

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Photo of RickyS
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.25 | smell: 4.75 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.25 | overall: 4.5

Poured into Teku glass with sediment included. Appearance is a hazy light yellow with large amount of carbonation. Large head which dissipates very slowly. Smell is very nice: banana, orange peels, clove, floreal aroma and tiny amount of alcohol. Taste is very similar with dry finish. Feel a bit syrupy in the mouth with high carbonation hitting the tongue.
All in all an excellent beer. Definitely will buy it again.

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Photo of sjverla
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

(Reviewed from notes)

Nose: Sweet and fruity, like champagne. Notes of fresh hay and slightly piney. A little bready on the end.

Appearance: Stellar clarity and shimmering straw gold. Enormous head the last forever and laces voraciously.

Taste: Sweet fruit. Grapes and yeast like champagne. Alcohol heat cuts through and rises to the nostrils. A mellow but assertive bitterness builds and laces with the taste of apple and sour grapes.

Overall: Great beer in my humble experience of Belgian imports. Thanks to my brother Ben for the Christmas present.

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Photo of JTuomi
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.75 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

33cl bottle poured into a goblet.

Golden straw color with a big white head that eventually settled down to a thin spotty layer. Beautiful looking lively carbonation.

Smell of orange, lemon, grass and some yeast with vanilla.

At first a mildly sweet peppery taste that is followed by a slightly bitter and dry lemony aftertaste with some apple and vanilla. The alcohol gives some warmth but doesn't taste through.

Pretty high carbonation and a medium light body. Really enjoyable beer. Would be excellent on a hot summer day.

 531 characters

Photo of boudreaux
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4.5 | smell: 5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4

11.2oz bottle poured into my trusty Chimay chalice;
Best Before: 22 G L (whatever that means?)

A: poured a golden color, with a cloudy haze; bits of yeast floated in the brew; head is tall and long lasting, a bright whit color, about 2 fingers thick at the climax; leaves spotty lacing on the glass

S: bright and full nose; hints of citrus - lemon zest - and fruity/funky Belgian yeast; banana and clove also here

T: sweet up front with a complex, grainy malt and clove touch; perhaps honey at the front as well; taste turns to the fruity, funky yeast flavor, with the mellow notes of alcohol coming through; finishes dry with a touch of herbal hoppiness; not bitter, but not too dry either

M: medium bodied; good carbonation; thick on the mouth at first, but finishes crisp and fresh

D: beautiful drinkability; very easy to down

A great example of the Belgian Tripel style. The 8% ABV allows you to drink more than one without feeling too buzzed. A great Belgian Tripel!

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Photo of eduardolinhalis
4.52/5  rDev +6.6%
look: 4 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 5 | feel: 4 | overall: 4

330ml bottle served in its own tulip glass.

A: Pours a light orange color. Cloudy. Forms a huge creamy white head. Good retention, a thin layer that never disappears completely. Foam is viscous, leaving many lacings in the glass

S: Complex. Sweet and spicy. Strong on vanilla and honey. Orange zest. Wheat, pears, Belgian yeasts giving a quite bread smell

T: Complex as the nose, vanilla, honey, pears, apricots and spices. Orange zest. Sweet upfront. Very bready Belgian yeasts. Metallic and slightly bitter hoppy bitterness in the end. Warmy alcohol

M: Heavy body. Good carbonation. Balanced bittersweet aftertaste

O: Excellent drinkability. A Belgian masterpiece. Mandatory to Belgian Ale lovers

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Photo of Golden2wenty1
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Picked up the gift pack (4 small bottles and a big ol' goblet) at Riley's as a thank you to expatsteve for his clutch ticket to the Great Taste of the Midwest for my girlfriend.

Pour: caramel blonde with hazy clarity, forget fingers - a hand of snow white foam with streams of carbonation leading to fantastic retention and some spotty lacing - a real looker.

Nose: fizzy lemon-lime, grainy and toffee/caramel malts with a bit of yeasty clove in the finish.

Taste: apricot, light citrus, lemon grass booze, toasted grain/nuttiness, tart kiwi fruit on the back of the tongue, light spice and a dry alcohol finish.

Feel: light bodied with tickling carbonation and ephemeral, evaporating booze

Drinkability/Overall: Truly the gold standard of the class, this has mellowed on the shelf at Riley's for some time, and it shows in the understated, ultimately controlled complexity. Just beautiful to watch/smell/taste/feel.

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Photo of iNHaze
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

Poured from 12oz. bottle into Karmeliet glass.(Snifter)

This beer pours a beautiful honey-blonde color with champagne-like carbonation and a nice, consistent, 3/4" lacy white head. Clarity is outstanding.

I got yeasty, fruity, and floral topnotes, but a case of allergies at the time may have impaired a full "reading" of this beers aroma.

The first thing I noticed from this beer, again like champagne, was the sharp bite from the carbonation, however this was not unpleasant and helped to lay out the flavor complexities. A bit of sparkling malt and a tinge of caramel move on to very floral hops. The taste was similar to the aroma, and nothing wholely unsuspected slapped me in the face from this beer. I'm not sure why, but I kept thinking champagne when drinking this beer. I noted that the flavor complexities reminded me of good champagne, and were subtle and smooth.

The mouthfeel from Karmeliet was full and rather fluffy.

Overall, a great beer. I would definitely drink this again. I've also had this beer draft, and it definitely kicked all of its complexities into overdrive. So if you have the opportunity, I'd absolutely recommend trying it.

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Photo of haz77
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

A - Poured into a tulip a clear orangey-straw colour with a massive meringue-like head, which seems to take forever to fall, probably due in part to the large amount of carbonation. Clumps of lacing are left everywhere and retention is excellent. Looks about as perfect as is possible.

S - Cloves, light/tropical fruits, phenols, bready yeast, honey. Superb.

T - There's a lot going on. Honey upfront, then the fruits begin to dominate. Spicy alcohol marks the back, but the ABV is well masked. Slightly dry finish and aftertaste.

M - Exceptionally smooth and effervescent. Medium to full body which is offset brilliantly by the foil of high tingling carbonation. Well balanced.

D - Highly drinkable for a beer of this strength. A favourite tripel and easily one of my favourite beers.

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Photo of Sixpack595
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Crystal clear copper color with huge long lasting white head. Great lacing and a steady stream of bubbles. Malty and sweet aroma with orange and lemon. Crisp mouthfeel from the strong carbonation. Dry finish. Very well balanced bitterness keep the sweetness in line.

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Photo of vitesse
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

served in 750 mL green bottle with painted label.

(probably the single most beautiful bottle art i've ever seen, btw.)

this is one artistic beer!
looks very similar to champagne when poured into the glass. super bright yellow color with the finest head i've ever seen. bubbles are very reminiscent of champagne, but they retain well.
smells of flowers, slight touch of hopes and spicey coriandar. alcohol is well hidden in the nose.
taste is really delicate. no overpowering alcoholic rush at all. a nice horsebarn yeastiness is evident, hinting at lambic-like flavors. spicy and hoppy notes came around and just blew me away. not a big, over-the-top beer, but insanely complex grassy, flowery and spicy notes. the body of this one is so light and effervescent that i really think it could almost stand up to champage as an aperitif. a very poetic drink. i highly highly highly recommend the karmeliet. if you want a super complex beer, this is the one.

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Photo of Toddv29424
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 4.5 | smell: 4 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 5 | overall: 5

This beer pours with an enormous head that never stops growing, and particles continually float around the whole body. The smell is very sweet, much like the candied malts you would expect in a tripel like this. The taste is almost perfect after you let it mellow... There is a slight hint of alcohol which is not hidden and a lack of a substantial body like other Belgians. Overall what a great tripel should be, highly recommended.

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Photo of doktorhops
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Tripel Karmeliet has possibly one of the coolest labels ever. It reminded me of the artwork in a Wes Anderson film - drawn carefully by a kid with an amazing amount of detail. Brewed from an original 1679 recipe with the following three grains; wheat, barley and oats. Well judging by how highly regarded this brew is those 17th century Belgian brewers were on the right track.

Poured from a 330ml bottle into a St Feuillien chalice.

A: Cloudy golden body with a firm centimetre white head. All cloudy beers are good (this is an indisputable fact) so that's an extra point there.

S: Candied lemon, pear and honey with a hint of herbal hops faint in the background. No surprise that the main aroma is almost entirely composed of sweet characters as this is a Tripel, an 8.4% ABV Tripel to be precise.

T: As with all Tripels I let it warm to almost room temperature (which is a chilly 15 degrees celsius... chilly for Queensland at least). Some bold fruit esters upfront: pear, lemon, orange, with a big candi sugar hit throughout and a slight herbal hop bitter twang at the end. A metallic after-taste leaves a sour note for an otherwise excellent Tripel.

M: Dense bodied and creamy as a good Tripel should be.

D: World class except for that metallic note in the after-taste. There is a full on sugar hit, as is expected in Tripel, however the fruit esters make a good combination and the medicinal/herbal hops at the finish isn't as overpowering as I've noticed in other Tripels. Overall I am suitably impressed and will certainly try it again to see if the metallic is just due to a single batch being that way or if it is systemic of the brew.

Food match: Tripels are a dessert or cheese beer, take your pick.

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Photo of saintwarrick
4.53/5  rDev +6.8%
look: 5 | smell: 4.5 | taste: 4.5 | feel: 4.5 | overall: 4.5

Highly reputed brew that I have never tried. Well, here goes. This orangey gold brew produces a big, almost Duvel-size head, very carbonated, before it recedes to a thick lacing atop the beer. Lots of citrus notes and other fruits like pears and peaches with a nice bit of sugar candy in the aroma. Taste is very much like champagne; lots of lemon, lemon pepper and other light citrus notes, most of which come from the malt and yeast. Hops give a nice little twang at the end. Tremendously smooth brew, well worth it's reputation.

One of the best tripels I have had. A world classic that is a must buy.

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Tripel Karmeliet from Brouwerij Bosteels
4.24 out of 5 based on 4,003 ratings.
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